Joe CornwallLegrand’s Joseph Cornwall explains how licensing AVIXA CTS trainings is a win-win.

Former AVIXA Educator of the Year Joseph Cornwall, whose formal job title “Technology Evangelist” at Legrand North America sums up both his professional mission and personal passion, is furthering his quest to get more industry members CTS® certified and trained in good AV practices.

He recently got the green light from his company to take the Audiovisual and Integrated Experience Association™ CTS Prep and Essentials of AV courses on the road and out to its clients, after a successful internal training effort that significantly increased the number of CTS holders at Legrand.

“We started out with only five or six CTS holders on staff, and we were looking into ways of increasing that. It turned out to be less expensive to license the trainings and do them ourselves than to get all the people we wanted to train to a show to take the classes,” explains Cornwall.

Others quickly bought into the idea and convenience of onsite training, including global distributor Anixter and professional integration firms such as The Delcom Group and Diversified U.S.

“Once we had the licensing, which we did so that we could be better vendors and providers of solutions to our clients, we wanted to leverage this by helping our customers be better AV vendors,” says Cornwall. “We realized we could bring this level of training to folks who might not have the opportunity to travel to get it.” So, Cornwall started planning a roadshow of sorts, providing trainings in customers’ trading areas, thus removing barriers such as the cost of travel and the time constraints for participants and shortening their journey to testing for and gaining their CTS certification.

“To my knowledge, very few companies have provided CTS Prep courses as part of industry outreach and marketing,” says Cornwall. “If Legrand can contribute to a more efficient and effective AV industry, it’s great for the industry, for Legrand, and for Legrand’s customers. It’s nice to work for a company where doing the right thing is the right thing to do.”

Encouraged by the number of students who participated in the training and then went on to successfully achieve their CTS certification, Cornwall hopes to expand the program to provide training for the CTS-D and CTS-I certifications and is also looking at partnering with the Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee and the National Electrical Contractors Association to provide Essentials of AV training for apprentices in the electrical trades.

“These are folks putting in networks and pulling cables for data centers and network applications. Now they’re being asked to pull AV infrastructure. From Legrand’s point of view, this is an opportunity to invest in the electrical trades and work with manufacturing and distribution on the data communications side of the industry to promote a better understanding of the science behind AV and its evolution,” he says. “It’s another way we can contribute to the industry, and in my mind, a rising tide floats all ships.”

Now that the word is out, Cornwall is hearing from more customers wanting to schedule trainings into 2018, and he is brainstorming ideas such as technology trends workshops that will help keep AV, IT, and integration professionals abreast of the latest technology applications and developments.

“It all comes down to making a positive investment in the industry,” he says. “A better-prepared professional workforce ensures a better-served customer base.”

Plus, it’s a great way to share his passion with others.

“Everything about AV technology and communications fascinates me. To be able to take that passion and share it with others allows me to take my natural curiosity, my methods of personal learning, and my verbosity and do something productive with it all,” he says. “It gives me an opportunity to do something that might actually change the industry!”